Metal Roof Vs Shingles: Which Is Right For You
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Metal Roof vs Shingles: Which Is Right for You?

Gray asphalt shingle roof

When it comes to roofing materials, two popular options that often stand out are metal roofs and asphalt shingles. These two materials offer distinct advantages and disadvantages, depending on what your priorities are. But how do you choose?

In this blog post, we will explore:

  • The differences between metal roofs and shingles
  • The various types available
  • The pros and cons
  • Costs
  • Their lifespan

When it comes to a metal roof vs. shingles, which one will fit your life better? If you’re interested in installing a new roof — keep reading to find out.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

brown asphalt shingle roof

Before we delve into the specifics of metal roofs, it’s essential to understand the different types of asphalt shingles, as this category has its own array of options to consider:

Three-Tab Shingles:

Three-tab shingles are the most basic and budget-friendly option. They have a flat, uniform appearance and are known for their simplicity.

Architectural Shingles:

Also known as dimensional or laminate shingles, architectural shingles are thicker and more textured than three-tab shingles. They offer a more aesthetically pleasing look and are often chosen for their durability.

Luxury Shingles:

Luxury shingles are a premium option with enhanced aesthetics. They mimic the appearance of natural materials like wood or slate and offer improved durability and longevity.

Impact-Resistant Shingles:

These shingles are designed to withstand hail and other severe weather conditions, making them an excellent choice for areas prone to storms.

Types of Metal Roofing

red metal roof on a white house with blue trim

Metal roofing is another versatile option, with various types available to suit different preferences and needs:

Standing Seam Metal Roofing:

Standing seam metal roofs consist of vertical metal panels with raised seams connecting them. This design offers exceptional durability and water resistance.

Corrugated Metal Roofing:

Corrugated metal roofs feature wavy or corrugated sheets of metal. They are lightweight, affordable, and have a distinctive appearance.

Metal Shingles and Tiles:

Metal shingles and tiles come in various styles, mimicking the appearance of other materials like wood, slate, or clay. They offer excellent durability and aesthetic versatility.

Metal Shake Roofing:

Metal shake roofing replicates the look of traditional cedar shakes. It combines the aesthetic appeal of wood with the durability of metal.

Pros and Cons of Shingles vs. Metal

Before you make a choice on roofing materials, it is important to weigh the pros and cons. We’ve broken down the differences between a metal roof and an asphalt shingle roof, so that you can make an informed choice.

Asphalt Shingles:

Asphalt shingle roofs are by far the most popular roofing style on the market. Here are some reasons why:

✅ Pros:

  • Affordability: Asphalt shingles are generally more budget-friendly upfront compared to metal roofing options.
  • Variety: There is a wide range of styles, colors, and textures available, making it easy to match your home’s aesthetic.
  • Easy Installation: Shingle installation is relatively straightforward, and many roofing contractors are experienced with this material.
  • Repairs: Individual shingles can be easily replaced if they become damaged.

❌ Cons:

  • Shorter Lifespan: Asphalt shingles typically have a lifespan of 15-30 years, depending on the type and quality.
  • Maintenance: Shingles may require more regular maintenance, including periodic cleaning and inspections.
  • Susceptible to Weather: They can be more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, such as hail or high winds.

Metal Roofing:

Metal roofs are becoming more and more common for the following reasons.

✅ Pros:

  • Longevity: Metal roofs can last 40-70 years or more, depending on the material used.
  • Durability: They are highly resistant to weather, including hail, wind, and snow, and are less likely to crack or rot.
  • Energy Efficiency: Metal roofs can reflect sunlight, reducing cooling costs in hot climates.
  • Low Maintenance: They require minimal maintenance over their lifespan.
  • Eco-Friendly: Metal roofing is recyclable, reducing its environmental impact.

❌ Cons:

  • Higher Initial Cost: Metal roofing materials can be more expensive upfront, although their longevity may offset this cost over time.
  • Complex Installation: Installation may be more challenging, requiring experienced contractors.
  • Noise: Rain or hail can be noisier on a metal roof compared to shingles, although proper insulation can mitigate this.

Cost Differences

The cost of roofing materials and installation can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the type of material, the size and complexity of the roof, and local labor rates. Here’s a general cost comparison between asphalt shingles and metal roofing:

Asphalt Shingles:

On average, asphalt shingles cost between $3 to $5 per square foot, including installation. Luxury shingles and impact-resistant shingles can be on the higher end of this range.

Metal Roofing:

Metal roofing materials typically range from $5 to $12 per square foot, excluding installation costs. The installation cost can vary widely, but it’s generally higher than shingles due to the expertise required.

While metal roofing may have a higher upfront cost, it often pays off in the long run due to its extended lifespan and lower maintenance requirements.


The lifespan of a roofing material is a crucial factor to consider, as it directly affects the long-term cost-effectiveness of your investment.

Asphalt Shingles:

As mentioned earlier, asphalt shingles have a lifespan of 15-30 years, with architectural and luxury shingles generally lasting longer than three-tab shingles.

Metal Roofing:

Metal roofs have a significantly longer lifespan, ranging from 40 to 70 years or more, depending on the material and maintenance.

When comparing these lifespans, it becomes clear that metal roofing offers a substantial advantage in terms of durability and longevity. While the initial cost may be higher, you’re less likely to incur replacement expenses and associated labor costs over the years.

Consult With a Professional Roofing Contractor

Choosing between metal roofs and asphalt shingles depends on various factors, including your budget, aesthetic preferences, and long-term goals. Ultimately, your decision should consider your specific needs and priorities, as both materials have their distinct advantages and disadvantages.Want to get a professional’s opinion? Trust Roofing can help. Contact us today to receive your instant roof quote.

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